The Indian government has identified seven Chinese companies with direct or indirect ties to the People’s Liberation Army(PLA). Additionally, India has also recognized the threat of Chinese venture capitalist investments which are suspected to be helping China’s defense sector. The Indian Army has also asked its staff to delete 89 apps from their devices, most of which are Chinese. This includes PUBG Mobile and all Tencent Gaming apps.
Tencent Faces Flak in India
The list includes Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, Xindia Steels Limited, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation and SAIC Motor Corporation Limited. However, no action has been taken against these companies yet. This is the latest development after the Government of India banned 59 Chinese apps in the country. This included mobile games such as Mobile Legends and Clash of Kings along with popular social media video sharing platform, Tik Tok.
Tencent owned PUBG Mobile is one of the most popular titles in India and the backbone of the Indian esports industry. The game has spawned an entire generation of content creators, influencers, streamers, professional players and a fully functioning ecosystem of team owners, investors and tournament organizers. While it's popularity continues to grow with each passing day, security concerns about the game have always been a factor. The rising political and military tensions between India and China have only highlighted these issues further and there is a growing anti-China sentiment in India.
However, Tencent's involvement with India is not just in the video gaming space as the company has made significant investments in the tech space including a $400 million investment in ride sharing service Ola Cabs and a $700 million investment in ecommerce giant Flipkart. Sanctions against China and Tencent might spill over to Tencent Games and in turn PUBG Mobile, if push comes to shove.
Another South Asian country, Pakistan also recently banned PUBG Mobile after the game was deemed to be having a negative influence on its younger population. The hearing for the case is ongoing and a decision is yet to be finalized. The game was also found to be anti-Islamic in the nation. However, players from the country who were set to represent Pakistan in the currently ongoing PUBG Mobile World League were given special permission to play the game
[Also read: Pakistan Issues Temporary Ban on PUBG]